MSG Details Upgrades

The reconfiguration of Madison Square Garden is expected to begin June 14 and its interior will be almost completely changed by 2014.

MSG is planning the $850 million construction around its 400 annual events. The first phase, which is expected to be completed for the 2011-12 season, includes lower, more comfortable seats in the lower bowl, an expanded lower concourse, more restrooms and retail locations, and 20 new event-level suits. The Delta SKY360° Event Level Club, which offers views of athletes entering and exiting the locker room area, is also expected to debut.

Seating improvements to the upper bowl are expected to debut during the 2012-13 season, as is an expanded upper concourse that includes more restrooms and retail locations. The 58 lower-level suites, in-between the two bowls levels, are expected to be completed by this time, as is The Super Club, an all-inclusive club space.

Finally, during the 2013-14 season, MSG is expected to debut its two Bridges – five-story-high walkways running the length of the arena.

“This is our signature element,” Madison Square Garden CEO Hank Ratner told the New York Post. “It will be a unique experience in sports and entertainment.”

The last phase will include 10th-floor “party decks,” a new 7th Avenue entrance and 18 remodeled suites on the ninth floor.

The improvements will also include new sound and lights, a new scoreboard, fiber-optic cabling, better sightlines and other upgrades. What is not being changed is MSG’s signature ceiling, which will get a good polishing.

“This gives us the best of both worlds,” Ratner said. “We keep what’s iconic – the exterior and the famous ceiling – and create a whole new building.”

The project is funded without taxpayer subsidies.